I am writing to remind you of things you and I both already know.
The first is: I am not who I used to be. I am a completely new creation of Jesus Christ and He is at work in my life (2 Corinthians 5:17). And I don’t have to obey you anymore. You used to rule my emotions, direct my decisions, and sabotage my thoughts but not anymore. I was sentenced to die apart from God because of my rebellion against Him, but I have been pardoned because Jesus took my sins and died in my place. I have accepted His gift and He has assured me of eternal life, joy. God is now in charge and I am free. And I refuse to sacrifice my joy, my peace, and my purpose to you!
The second thing is God is in control and He promises me I will lack no good thing (Psalms 34:10). You fooled me into thinking I couldn’t trust God, and it would be better if I took control. But we both know that is a lie on top of a lie. There is only One Who never lies (Titus 1:2), always keeps His promises, and is without fail looking out for my good – His name is Jesus. He is the Faithful One (2 Thessalonians 3:3) and I will trust Him. (Oh, and I am totally over that other lie too: Like I have the authority or the ability to be in charge…that is just too funny :0).
And that brings me to my third point: Christ has forgiven my past. The Holy Spirit indwells my present. And God is sculpting my future. Even if this life is hard – and it will be – even if it is short, and compared to eternity it will be, and even if I don’t get everything what I want (which I won’t... and this is a good thing), Fear, you are just holding me back. I am following Jesus, wherever He leads. I don’t need you – anymore.
Ps. God says not to fear which means, you are part of those temptations I always have an escape from (1 Corinthians 10:13). So, don’t expect to hear from me again.
I read…more than 90% of the population…at least. And I often think, “How cool would it have been to do that?” Maybe you do too.
How awesome would it have been to be there for the American Revolution? Explore the Dark Continent with David Livingston? Hear Martin Luther King? Abraham Lincoln? Or Jesus of Nazareth, King, God and Savior?
But do you know the reason those things would have been so cool? Because we know the end.
The American Colonies didn’t know if they would win. But they sacrificed their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for freedom. When John Hancock signed the Declaration so big and so bold, he was laying it all on line for his family, his kinsmen, and his country. It was not a fun adventure, it was a winner-take-all gamble.
What Dr. Livingston found in the deepest parts of Africa had never been seen by a white man’s eye because they all died on the way. He went forward through faith in God into an uncharted, inhospitable land knowing he could easily join their number. It was not a game, it was a daring risk.
Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Christ were all orators of the highest degree who changed the world at the cost of their lives. An adventure is not adventure while you are living it. It is trials. It is tragedy. It’s not exciting or glamorous. It’s uncertain and, in human perspective, often hopeless.
But those are the stories we long to read and hear and be a part of. Today, you have a chance to be a part of an adventure. Seize it with the courage of Hancock and Livingston. Press on with the resolve of King and Lincoln. And set your eyes on Jesus Christ alone as the source every needful thing (2 Peter 1:3).
The other day I was listening to a message given for chapel at a Christian college and the speaker happened to comment that some feel it is a burden to “have to” go to chapel every week.
Now my college experience was completely secular and maybe that explains my knee jerk response of: What could possibly be better than getting credit for going to church?! What a blessing to go to a school where you are required to go church, where the establishment is aiding you in healthy spiritual habits. It was clear to me that these commands were a gift.
And then I had another thought that made me blush just a bit. “Are not God’s commands all the same?”
God has given His commands as gifts. You will enjoy other people better if you aren’t lying or stealing or killing each other…so God commands us not to. You will have healthier families if you are faithful to your spouse and love and honor them, if you obey your parents and don’t exasperate your children…so God instructs us accordingly.
These are command gifts. In all of His commands, God is looking out for us. And when we fight these rules – we truly fight against our own good, our own blessing, and our own happiness.
Do you think God knew that?
I love reading the Old Testament prophets: Ezekiel, Isaiah, Daniel, and Jeremiah. But even I admit, it can get tedious reading chapter after chapter of countries and cities that are going to get wiped off the face of the planet. Ezekiel 28 is a little like that. Tyre is going to be destroyed – never rebuilt, never inhabited, never found – and its haughty princes will perish. Ezekiel 28 is a mourning song for the Prince of Tyre…before he is dead.
It has a recurring word: were. In verses 12-15 it is used five times as God says, “You were magnificent – but that is all past now.” The King of the earth has purposed; judgment will surely come to pass. And from His perspective Tyre is already a memory and her prince is already a dream – hence, “You were…”
This is also how the Lord sees our world, its evil, and its wicked men. In our limited capacity it seems like “they” are winning and that evil will last forever. They will not – God has already numbered their days. He has already witnessed their downfall. Evil has an end and God has already seen it. He has grasped victory and refers rightly to our greatest enemies as “you were”. Their time is over.
Sin, suffering, death, hell, and Satan – you were…
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.